Bears fans have not seen the last of cornerback Kindle Vildor, although it almost seemed like it during their 16-14 win over Detroit.
Defensive coordinator Sean Desai revealed during his Thursday press conference that even though Artie Burns played left cornerback against Detroit, there are plans to continue to get Vildor involved on defense.
"Quite frankly, I probably should have played him more in the Detroit game and the plan was to play him more from my end and (defensive backs coach Deshea Townsend) and it kind of got away, the way the game kind of flowed and everything. That sometimes happens.," Desai said. "I talked to Kindle right after the game, too, and he understood it. He knows that he's still an important part of our defense that we're gonna need. He's been great, his approach."
Vildor had no defensive plays and eight special teams plays against the Lions. Prior to his benching, he had been on the field between 95% and 100% of the defensive snaps for each game.
Burns says he wants to help Vildor, as well. If anyone could know what Vildor is going through it's Burns, who lost his starting job first at Pittsburgh, then lost his job all together, came to the Bears and tore an ACL in training camp and then was cut but brought back on the roster.
"I don’t see it like that because when I was in a position, when I got sat, I learned from that because I got sat for a vet," Burns said. "You know, we can help each other. It’s work. We always can help each other get better."
The Bears pass defense didn't exactly shine against the Lions even with Burns playing. They allowed Jared Goff a passer rating of 121.8, and he had only four incompletions in 25 throws.
What they did do was limit his passes to shorter gains on underneath routes. They also wrapped up well and tackled, which has been a problem at times this season.
After the 39-yard touchdown Burns got beaten by Josh Reynolds on in the first quarter, the Lions didn't have another completion longer than 17 yards. Detroit averaged only 6.3 yards per pass play.
For Desai, keeping Vildor sidelined is going to be a balancing act. They have a second-year player who lost his confidence after less than a full season of starts, so they had a talk before they benched him. They don't want to come across too harshly considering they believe they see the talent level in Vildor to be a starter in the long run.
"That's always a tough call," Desai said. "And we've gotta find that balance and that's part of our jobs, is to find that balance of taking lumps and we've been pretty balanced in terms of that.
"He's played at a good point at some points throughout the season and flashed in a positive way. It's nothing against him. It's kind of what we felt was a necessary change as a unit and it's not a permanent change. This thing is every week. It's really series by series for us in terms of we're talking on the headsets as a staff of, OK, who are the guys we want to put out and how do we want to go execute this next series and try to win this next series."